A team of archaeologists working on Abusir, near Saqqarafinds the grave of a ancient Egyptian military officer who commanded battalions made up of foreign soldiers, according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
The discovery was made by an archaeological mission from the Czech Institute of Egyptology at Charles University (Prague). The tomb also had inscriptions from the Book of the Dead and it describes the resurrection of the officer and his journey to the afterlife.
The “first true globalization of the ancient world”
The experts they dated the tomb to the end of the 26th dynasty or the beginning of the 27th dynasty (early 5th century BC). According to the mention discovered in the burial chamber, it belonged to an ancient Egyptian dignitary named Wahibre-mery-Neith, who bore the title of “Foreign Mercenary Commander”who supervised and he commanded soldiers from the Aegean islands and Asia Minor.
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has led scholars to conclude that ancient Egypt was far more globalized than previously thought.
The final resting place of Wahibre-mery-Neith
the tomb of Wahibre-mery-Neith Was found about 12 kilometers southeast of the pyramids of Giza. It was divided into parts separated by narrow bridges carved into the natural rock.
Credit: Petr Košárek/Czech Institute of Egyptology.
Covering an area of 14 square meters, its main shaft was about 6 meters deep. However, as is customary for ancient burial sites of the time, there was a smaller, deeper shaft in the middle of the main shaft which led to the double sarcophagus where Wahibre-mery-Neith was buried.
Also, inside the tomb, they found the the largest embalming warehouse in egyptincluding 370 ceramic pots containing materials used to mummify the commander.
Canopic jars and clay objects discovered in the tomb. Credit: Petr Košárek / Czech Institute of Egyptology.
At the bottom of the deepest well, which measures 6.5 x 3.3 meters, at a depth of about 16 meters, the mission found two sarcophagi, one inside the other.
The outer sarcophagus was made of two large slabs of white limestone, while the inner anthropomorphic coffin is made of basalt rock.
However, Wahibre-mery-Neith’s body has not been found. Some scholars speculate that he probably died unexpectedly, while his tomb and burial equipment were still unfinished. While others attribute its absence to the fact that the tomb was looted in Late Antiquity, most likely around the 4th-5th century AD.
View of the sarcophagus of Whaibre-mery-Neith. Credit: Petr Košárek/Czech Institute of Egyptology.
The amount of items and materials used in mummification found in this type of tomb has never been greater. Therefore, archaeologists have indicated that “the design of this site has no equivalent in ancient Egypt”.
Funerary objects and inscriptions from the “Book of the Dead”
The upper part of the basalt sarcophagus was engraved with extracts from the Book of the Dead Chapter 72 Egyptian, according to a statement from the Doctor Marslav Bartahead of the archaeological mission.
The text would describe the general’s resurrection and his journey to eternity, including spells that were also part of the transfiguration ritual and thus ensured a peaceful afterlife for the owner.
You might also be interested in: They find a pharaonic sun temple lost over 4500 years ago.
A funeral kit was also found. A total of 402 earthenware ‘shabtis’ (figures of servants who were to perform work in place of the owner in the afterlife), two alabaster canopic vessels without inscriptions, a terracotta model of an offering, ten model cups, a calcareous ostracon inscribed with religious texts and an intricately carved scarab.
Some of the ‘shabtis’ found in the tomb. Credit: Petr Košárek / Czech Institute of Egyptology.
According to the researchers, the astonishing burial structure of the commanding military officer, shows “how the ancient Egyptians adapted the material culture of their religious beliefs in times of crisis and uncertainty” because the unfinished decorations inside the tomb suggest that the former commander’s death occurred at a time of crisis for the Egyptian people, just at the beginning of Persian rule in Egypt.
References: Live Science / The Nation.
A post of Science of mystery. All rights reserved. – Redistribution and rebroadcasting of this content without prior permission is expressly prohibited. Site protected by Safe Creative.